SURREY (NEWS 1130) — The province is pulling out all the stops to get shots into people’s arms in Surrey — a region hard hit by COVID-19 cases.
Dr. Bonnie Henry says the vaccination rate in the community is good, and hesitancy is not an issue. Rather, the population is dense and many people work in essential, high-risk jobs, and live in multigenerational homes.
“The percentage of people immunized is actually very high here but we need to more because the population is larger here,” she explains.
“It’s a very different thing to target a community with hundreds of thousands of people versus a community with a few thousand people.”
In a move announced Thursday, the drive to meet people where they’re at will be ramping up — expanding options for where people can get the shot, according to Fraser Health CEO Dr. Victoria Lee.
“One of the areas that we’ve focused on is registering and increasing accessibility for vaccines through places of worship. In fact, Gurdwaras have been used through community partners. Last weekend we’ve done registration there and going in actually with immunizations in the coming days, as well,” she explains.
“Those will be ongoing efforts in addition to some of the other areas that we mentioned that are highly accessible like malls, some of the grocery stores. There’s unique areas within Surrey and Fraser Health , such as essential workers and, sometimes, very vulnerable disadvantaged populations where it’s not easy for people to get away to get the immunizations.”
Henry says the effort won’t include going door-to-door, but rather setting up in public places.
“Some of things I’ve been hearing about today where there’s kiosks moving to different parts of the community to register people, and in some cases people will be eligible for vaccine that day if there’s appointments available.”
People working grocery stores in Surrey who are 18 and up are eligible to register and book for their vaccines. In high-transmission neighbourhoods in Fraser health, people who are 30 and older can register to book their vaccine.
Those neighborhoods are:
- Abbotsford Rural
- Burnaby Southeast
- Burnaby Southwest
- Central Abbotsford
- East Abbotsford
- East Newton
- North Delta
- North Surrey
- Port Coquitlam
- South Langley Township
- South Mission
- West Abbotsford
- West Newton